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Imtiaz Ali: Not every story can be about women finding their agency

The filmmaker spoke of how his works like Highway and She were about women finding their agency.

Imtiaz Ali: Not every story can be about women finding their agency

  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 06.44 AM, Aug 07, 2022


As a filmmaker, Imtiaz Ali has given Bollywood some memorable silver screen works in the form of films like Jab We Met, Love Aaj Kal, Rockstar and more. But despite their popularity, the filmmaker has found himself on the receiving end of criticism for the way he writes some of his female characters. Imtiaz recently opened up about claims that a lot of the female characters in his films lack agency.

In conversation with Vice India, the filmmaker spoke of how he was fascinated by the kind of women who have found themselves in a repressed, disadvantaged position, but manage to carry themselves with grace despite their circumstances. Imtiaz spoke of how a lot of such women were much more practical and smarter than men. He said that his works such as Highway and She were stories about women finding their agency. “So not every story can be about women finding their agency. Why am I not allowed to mix some stories of a different nature, which mean something else”, said Imtiaz.

The filmmaker said that he never tried to tell people how to live their lives through his works. Talking about Cocktail, Imtiaz said that he was fascinated to have met a lot of Western women whom he met in London were actually eager to become more ‘domicile’ in a very traditional manner. This was in sharp contrast to the mindset of the women he met in India. He said that the 2012 film was about two women with different upbringings and mindsets coming together and each going the ‘other way’.

Imtiaz’s last show came in the form of the SonyLIV series Dr Arora, starring Kumud Mishra as the titular protagonist. The filmmaker is currently awaiting the release of his next production Thai Massage, a slice of life film starring Gajraj Rao and Divyenndu Sharma.